Pioneer Family

Sunday, August 31, 2008

We went to the RiverFest at a house built in 1820. The kids got to dress up in period clothes and we all got our picture taken. There was a display of rare breed pigs, goats, turkeys, etc., and DH and I both want to sell our house, and move into the country and have a rare breed hobby farm/organic veggie farm! We're just waiting to win the lottery first.

We learned about the Voyageurs, and the lifestyle in the mid-1800's. DH got to fire a canon with 'black powder', and Mr. Boy did an archeological dig to find artifacts from the old homestead. We got to go on a 'pirate' ship, and Sweet Pea was steering. We were anchored, but she didn't know that.Sweet Pea steering the boat.
The five of us on the boat.

Later, in the evening, we had Mel and Ron over with their two kids and they all had fun. DH made his famous ribs, and I made homefries and green salad. The kids had fun getting goofy and making funny faces for the camera.
Precious hamming it up for the camera.
Sweet Pea and Kiera being goofy.
Mr. Boy and Riley are funny.

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Inspiring Art

Thursday, August 28, 2008

If you like bold graphics, cute stationary, and all kinds of paper products, you will love Design Freebies. I absolutely love the paper houses and want them all. I'll have to dig out my Japanese/English dictionary to read what each room is called.

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Transition Time

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mr. Boy started camp on Monday morning. This is like a preview of this school year where he will be going full days for the first time. I picked him up from the bus on Monday night at 4:45 after camp and he was surly on the way home. Turns out he had had only one carrot stick and one grape tomato for lunch and his snack was at 9:00 a.m.. He had had barely eaten for 8 hours. He told me he didn't have time to eat because he had to clean up the sandcastle he had built in the morning. And there were big line-ups for the toilets. .

Tuesday Mr. Boy came home and had a huge blister on his foot and was as surly as the day before, but at least he had managed to eat part of his sandwich, and at lunchtime, too.

So far, this 'preview' wasn't going quite as planned. I imagined Sweet Pea and Precious playing together for hours on end, and bonding and having fun, just like Sweet Pea and Mr. Boy did this year. Instead, Sweet Pea wants ME to be her playmate. To encourage her to play with Precious, I've been bringing Precious in on it, or saying "that's a game that's fun for kids", because dressing and pretending to feed dolls for an hour isn't exactly my idea of fun.

To make matters worse, Precious has become a little tyrant, biting, hitting, and especially pinching her siblings. I know she is doing it for attention and because she is frustrated because she can't speak well, but it is frustrating for us too. I don't know how to handle it because I have no experience with this. Precious doesn't seem to be at all bothered by time-outs, distraction, yelling, or us saying 'no'. I've also tried explaining and told her that her siblings won't want to play with her if she is mean to them, but I don't think she quite understands.

To top it all off, Precious has decided to fight her naps, and make sure they are darn short when she does have them.

The times they are a-changin' around here right now! I will adapt, eventually. I'm excited for the new school year to start. This is the real new year's if you ask me.

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Too Much Stuff

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sad to say, I'm not happy being back in town. We left for the cottage for 8 days with our car's trunk full of our stuff and the car full of, well, us! We had just the essentials, with a grocery store not far from the cottage in case we ran out of anything. We had wo kinds of cereal. One type of spread for toast, two kinds of cheese, milk, bread, eggs, butter, meat and veggies, chips, and a few canned goods. Everything was simplified because our space was limited.

What I don't understand is how we have so much stuff in our house! We have a decent-sized pantry and it is still overflowing. I can't find anything in there, but can't bear to throw anything out. Our mudroom was a disaster, with each child having at least 8 coats back there! I have scraps of paper everywhere with notes, and no less than three journals on-going. Our recently decorated den was becoming overrun with my papers, books to read, toys, CDs and paperwork!

I liked being at the cottage because we had so few things to manage. There was no computer. We used the phone only twice, and there was no cable t.v. so we just watched a movie, a few kids shows and a bit of the Olympics. Back here at home, everything seems so cluttered and there are so many things to do, organize, tidy and read. DH felt the same and did an organizing blitz yesterday! He installed the motion detector light for the back yard, made a shelf for our fridge freezer using an old dishwasher wire rack, got rid of a big box of ill-fitting coats from the mudroom, and cleaned out the front hall closet. Bliss!

I was inspired to consolidate my scraps of paper into one journal and try to start using that rather than leaving papers all over. I cleaned the computer desk, and even went through Sweet Pea's clothes and pulled out everything that is too small. One one pair of pants survived this summer's growth spurt! Ditto for Precious' clothes. I still have a way to go, but I will tackle it, a little at a time. The lesson I have learned from all of this is to buy less stuff!

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Cottage Life

We're back from the cottage and we had such a good time. It's the 5th year running that we've rented this cottage from our friends. They're selling it so we probably won't be back. They offered us the cottage a day early because they were headed camping, so we were able to go up on the 15th. I spent the whole day in appointments, shopping and packing and by the time DH got home, he didn't know what hit him. To say I wasn't exactly pleasant and bubbly would be an understatement. I guess I was a bit tired out. The good news was that I was prepared for the cottage and everything was ready to be packed in the car by the time DH got home from work.

Friday night, we got to the cottage, and we even managed to get in a swim. My brother came over after work, and went all went to bed at a reasonable time. Saturday morning was nice and we swam, and Geoff, Mindy and Connor finally arrived around 1:00. Around 3:30, Geoff, Isabella and Abbi arrived. We had a great steak dinner, although Geoff B. complained that the (sweet) potatoes were orange! Later on, we played cards, and things got a little blurry but I do remember finally getting invited to the neighbour's cottage party, which we attended sometime after midnight. The party was much smaller than in previous years, but it was nice to hang out with Aaron, the host. I had listened to that party every year for 4 years and had at least once wished that I could go.

Geoff, Mindy and Geoff B.

Geoff, Mindy and Connor left the next morning at the crack of dawn, and I watched the 5 other kids for a while until the guys got up. We swam and ate hot dogs. In the afternoon, Isabella did not want to leave, and we didn't want her to go either.
Gorgeous, still lake in the morning.

Monday and Tuesday were a bit cool, and there was a torrential downpour on Monday night, but the kids were happy because we let them watch most of Star Wars on VHS. It was getting too late to watch the whole thing so they finished it on Thursday. Because Tuesday also looked cool and a bit wet, we decided to take a road trip to Kingston. We left right after lunch and Precious slept in the car, just like we had hoped. We had such a good time that DH and I want to go back for our second annual fall romantic getaway overnight trip, sponsored by my mother and brother who babysat for us last year.

By this point, we were all feeling pretty relaxed. Few possessions, lots of fun stuff to do, nothing to distract us from the family, and all of our living confined to about 1000 square feet allowed us to just relax and put our feet up and spend time together. Even my morning eggs were happy (see below)!


Grammy came up on Wednesday for an overnighter. Thursday morning, we went shopping in the little towns nearby and found a great store with the most amazing array of things. We will definitely go back.

What else did we do? We swam, we canoed, we kayaked. We went for short walks and picked apples. We watched the Star Wars movie and couple of other kids' shows. The kids played on the swingset, and I did a jigsaw puzzle. We had a bonfire and cooked marshmallows and hot dogs. We BBQ'd, visited with family, read, and just enjoyed the first longish stretch (4 days!) of hot and sunny weather we have had all summer. Mr. Boy after one of the many swims.

Picking and eating apples.
Kayaking was done with Mommy or Daddy in the back and the child in the front.The sunsets were really nice.

The kids, especially Mr. Boy, were trying to pressure us into buying this cottage or some other cottage. We're happy just renting as it is inexpensive compared to ownership and no hassles! Next year we'll be renting somewhere else, so we're already making our wish list. Sweet Pea and Mr. Boy want bunk beds in the next year's cottage, as well as somewhere to swim. I want waterfront and non-motorized watercraft. DH wants a beach.

Back to reality tomorrow as I have errands to run, appointments for Precious and Mr. Boy starts a new camp. One more week until school starts!

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Vacation time again

Friday, August 15, 2008

In a few minutes, we're heading out to the cottage we rent. I'll miss everyone in Bloggywood and I look forward to catching up when I get back.

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Cockamamie Idea for August 14, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I have been at home with my kids for over 2 1/2 years, and that is the longest I have ever gone without working outside the home or being in school. I graduated from high school and went straight to working for the federal government about 4 weeks later. I went to university a few years later, full-time, and maintained a 2/3 full-time work calendar at my job.

I enjoyed working for the most part. I did lateral transfers, got promoted here and there and did a management trainee program for a few years. I had been working straight for almost 13 years when I went on my first maternity leave in April 2002. Since then I've only worked a stretch of 7 months and another of 10 months, in between maternity leaves. It has been almost 3 years since I worked, but I'm on a "care and nurturing" sabbatical and I'm expected back sometime before November 2011.

In the beginning of maternity leave #3, my oldest was 3 1/2, I had a 2-year old, who predictably was a little on the selfish side, and a baby that had at least 2, and up to 4 medical or therapy appointments a week. For the first 4 months, I pumped breast milk 6 times a day to feed her. I walked my oldest to nursery school three afternoons a week. My two year-old was a handful and she decided to stop napping a few months in. I was barely hanging on.

Gradually, things started to get better. It was almost imperceptible at first. Precious started having predictable nap times. Sweet Pea got better at sharing and stopped grabbing knives out of the knife block seconds after I settled in for 20 minutes of pumping breast milk. Mr. Boy got more independent and could do things like zip up his own zipper. I decided to do less housework. It was a choice between a dirty house and going insane.

Eventually, we got into a little routine. Mr. Boy started junior kindergarten and Sweet Pea went to nursery school. I was walking everywhere, getting exercise, and Precious' appointments started to slow down.

Before I knew it, in September 2007, Mr. Boy and Sweet Pea were both at school in the morning, and Precious was accepted to a special needs preschool in the morning, too. I had an hour to myself every morning. I started to come up for air and do more during the day. I'd scrapbook a bit during the day. Read the paper. Scan a magazine. Wash and style my hair from time to time!

Now I seem to have too much time on my hands. The kids still need fairly close supervision. It's not like I can leave them alone in the house while I run errands! Precious is still a toddler and we all know how much work they can be, but the older two can play alone together for hours at a time. My main responsibilities are reading books to the kids, managing t.v. time and playdates, instigating outside playtime, keeping food in the house, keeping the house neat-ish, running people to appointments and school, organizing extra-curricular activities, making meals and snack, washing clothes and bathing the children.

So what do I do in the downtime? That's a good question. I've started blogging. I've started reading other people's blogs. I read novels, I try to learn about photography, gardening, fitness, or whatever topic catches my fancy that day. I surf the net. I yearn for adult conversation and a sense of satisfaction.

Christine put a bug in my ear the other day when she mentioned in passing that maybe one day we could job share. I mentioned it to DH jokingly and he thought that now might be a good time to do that! I thought, "What a cockamamie idea!", but DH was really onto something. I crave a bit of productive time away from the kids, but I don't want to be at work every day. I wouldn't mind a bit of extra money either.

Once I realized that this might actually be a good idea, I wondered if I could find fulfilling work with my employer, say, two days a week, job-share or not? Would I be able to find care for the kids? Could I manage Precious' appointments and make sure they were squeezed into my 3 days off? The first step is calling work and asking if there is any work I could do part-time. I like nothing better than a new project, so I'm excited, but nervous to find out where this goes.

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Cockamamie Idea for Today

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dear Neighbour,

The other day, I was having a BBQ, and just as I welcomed my guests into my carefully groomed yard, you fired up your gas mower, ruining the mood with fumes and noise. I have a cockamamie idea to petition the mayor to decree that lawn mowing that it can only be done at certain times of the day and week. Obviously you should not be allowed to mow your lawn with your loud and obnoxious gas mower when I am:
a. sleeping
b. trying to sleep
c. having a BBQ
d. sitting outside, or
e. standing on the street talking to one of the other neighbours.

For this cockamamie idea to work, the times when mowing could occur would be quite restricted, but you will have to deal with as best you can. If you had an electric or reel mower you could mow your grass whenever you like. Since I have a reel mower, I can cut my grass at say, 2 a.m., if I were so inclined. But I won't, since I'm afraid of the dark.

Sincerely,
Your Kind and Loving Neighbour

P.S. I really believe the word cockamamie is underused. I enjoy it whenever possible, and I encourage you to do the same. Give it a try. Take it out for a spin. If you do, I'll bet you'll become cock-a-hoop. I see you looking at this letter cock-eyed. Stop it. And give cockamamie a whirl. It would warm the cockles of my heart.

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Favourite Red Wine

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

For Christmas, my brother gave me a signed copy of the book Red, White and Drunk all Over, by Natalie MacLean. It's all about wine, from an author who is a bit of a self-taught wine outsider who now makes her living writing about wine.

While she gives a specific wine recommendations on her website and in her newsletter, in her book she says what you might expect, something along the lines of "Try many wines and think about what you are drinking, develop your palette and make your own decisions". Rather than just picking the nicest label, or what's on sale, or, heaven forbid, making my own wine, I decided that it might be a good idea for me to get an idea of what wines I like.

I decided to start with what I figured was my favourite wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, go to my local liquor store and buy a whole bunch of Cab Sauv's (as my brother-in-law calls them), try them and take notes. I got a bit discouraged when I realized that the first few were swill. I had chosen all of the Chilean Cab Sauv's, as Natalie (we're on a first name basis, don't you know) had said that Chilean wines tended to be a good value. I'm nothing if not one for good value.

So after realizing that I don't much care for Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, I decided to try a wine DH and I had been recommended at dinner for our first wedding anniversary, back in 2001. That one wasn't bad, and I started to get hopeful I would finally find wine that I like. I hit pay dirt when I tried the next wine. I was out of town and stopped off at a tiny liquor store in the middle of nowhere. I picked up a Farnese Farneto Valley Sangiovese 2006. I took it home and tried it. My tasting notes (yes tasting notes!) were:

-true red
-smells like raspberries
-light tasting
-body-medium
-would be good with food.

I'm starting to sound pretty hoity-toity, aren't I?

I'll tell you why I love this wine so much. It is apparently good with spaghetti bolognese, which is one of my favourite foods. Sangiovese, also known as chianti, brings back good memories of a wonderful dinner DH and I shared on our honeymoon in Rome. I love raspberries and that's the bouquet of this wine. It didn't taste good the next day, after I put the cork back in and tried more with dinner the next night, which means you have to drink the whole bottle at once. The best part was that the wine was only $7.25/bottle. I'm no expert, but I'd call that a good value.

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Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm afraid of the dark. Of (dark) basements. Of scary movies. I spent the last 20 minutes of the Blair Witch Project with my legs tucked up under me, my eyes closed and my hands moving constantly over my ears to prevent any sound from entering. I had to stop watching the X-Files on t.v. once I was living alone because it was too scary. I will not sit on a toilet in the dark without first flicking on the light to see if there are any snakes or rats in the toilet. And I'm afraid of fish.

When I'm swimming in a lake or river, I hate to be the first one in the water or the one the farthest out. I figure those are the people most likely to get bitten or maimed by a fish. Before swimming, I will sometimes remove all of my jewelry, just in case it attracts the fish. I mean, fish will bite metal lures and hooks, so why not my ring finger!? There are a few scary fish in the lakes near me, like muskies. Knowing these fish may be lurking around my dangling, delicious toes gives me the heebie-jeebies.

"The muskellunge is one of the largest and most elusive fish that swims. A muskie will eat fish and sometimes ducklings and even small muskrats. It waits in weed beds and then lunges forward, clamping its large, tooth-lined jaws onto the prey. The muskie then gulps down the stunned or dead victim head first."
-www.muskie411.com
Gives me the shivers just reading about it.

I blame my fear of fish on my Ranger Rick magazines. One issue in particular. I'll never forget it as long as I live. The back cover of Ranger Rick magazine was always a poster of an animal. One month, the poster was a moray eel, with mouth agape, lunging directly at the photographer. I was traumatized by that photo and soon after, a fear of all fish emerged. At one point, I was even afraid of swimming in pools in case a fish, shark or eel made it's way up the pool drain from the river or the ocean.

We're heading up to a rented cottage this weekend, and it's on a lake. I will be leaving my wedding rings in the city and making sure I eat neither muskrat nor duck while I'm there. And I'll send DH in the water first.

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Favourite Car Colour

Sunday, August 10, 2008

We currently drive a 2002 Nissan Altima. It's silver, runs well, is good on gas and looks great. It can be a bit tight with the 5 of us in there, but it's a lot better now that Mr. Boy can use a booster rather than a full car seat. Sweet Pea has about 4 pounds to go before she can move into a booster.

Our car is about 6 1/2 years old and we're hoping for about 3 1/2 more years out of it. We're a one-car family, so if our car dies unexpectedly, we'd be without a car for however long it takes to get a new one. Car shopping was a minor inconvenience at the time that we bought our last car, but we didn't have any kids then.

So even though it is a while away, I've started noticing which cars I like, and trying to think about what our needs might be in the future. We have two kids who like downhill skiing, but none who like hockey, even though DH and I play. So what kind of vehicle will we need? It's hard to say. It depends on what activities they're in a how much equipment they require, as well as how often we are shuttling other friends (carpool anyone?). Gas economy is also important.

I've noticed that the Dodge Grand Caravan actually looks good to me. Yikes! A minivan?! I've also noticed this great new colour. Chevrolet calls it Spicy Orange. Honda calls it Blaze Orange Metallic. Ford calls it Blazing Copper. I call it sexy and cool.

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Another one of my Favourite Things

Saturday, August 9, 2008

9. Something else I love is using my kids' art on my walls. The far left painting is from Precious, age 2. The middle painting is from Sweet Pea, circa age 2. The right painting is from when Mr. Boy was 2.

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A Few of My Favourite Things Today

Friday, August 8, 2008

A few of my favourite things today are:
1. Finding cool or campy t-shirts at the thrift store and having the time to turn them into shopping bags because DH is on vacation.

fronts (above) backs (below)
2. My reed diffuser, all the way from Regina that came unscented so I could add essential oils instead of perfume.

3. Listening to the Wicked CD in preparation for seeing it in a few weeks time. Some songs make me laugh and the ensemble pieces always give me goosebumps!
4. That I scrapbooked this week.

5. Going through the kids' dresser drawers and pulling out things that are never worn. They were given to us by a neighbour with older girls and now I'm giving them to charity. It feels so good.
6. Our organic vegetable garden and one day's worth of cucumbers.
7. That Precious' quilt will be done once I attach the binding. I assembled the binding today so I'm on the homestretch!
8. That I was given a copy of my favourite yoga video. I took a class from Darby at the yoga show in Toronto in 2004 and I'll never be the same.What are you happy about today?

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One of those lists

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I got this over at Holly McCaig's site. I'm a sucker for her photography and these quizzes. They always take longer than you think they will.

Answer with only one word.
1. Where is your cell phone? none
2. Your significant other? bed
3. Your hair? styled
4. Your mother? fun
5. Your father? planning
6. Your favorite thing? kids
7. Your dream last night? forgotten
8 Your favorite drink? wine
9. Your dream/goal? happiness
10. The room you’re in? office
11. Your hobby? scrapbooking
12. Your fear? illness
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
14. What you’re not? fake
15. Muffins? please!
16. One of your wish list items? telephoto
17. Where you grew up? Ashton
18. The last thing you did? eat
19. What are you wearing? jammies
20. Favorite gadget? camera
21. Your pets? cat
22. Your computer? black
23. Your mood? calm
24. Missing someone? Aunt
25. Your car? Altima
26. Something you’re not wearing? make-up
27. Favorite store? Arbour
28. Like someone? many
29. Your favorite color? purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? Thursday

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A Fresh Start

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

After thinking we had Precious' sleep issues ironed out, I went to bed a little bit later than usual last night. Around 11:30 last night, DH went into the room where the kids were sleeping to check on them. All week, the kids were sleeping on mats on the floor and last night, Precious had rolled over the vent so the air conditioning was blowing right on her. DH moved her back to her 'bed', and then the fun began.

Hysterical screaming. Panic. Anger. And that was just me! Precious was awake and could not be calmed. She cried, screamed and thrashed about. DH almost had her back to sleep after about an hour of this but I came to see how he was doing and woke her back up. Bad me. We tried everything, even driving her around the neighbourhood in the Grand Caravan! After driving around for a few minutes, she calmed right down, but didn't fall asleep. She seemed more interested in making funny comments about what DH and I were discussing in whispers.

We got back to the house and brought her inside and I laid down beside her for almost an hour before she finally fell asleep, shortly before 2 a.m. I like my 8 hours of sleep, so I was thinking that traveling all day on 4 - 5 hours of sleep could be problematic. In trying to explain her behaviour, the best I could do was that she had some sort of ear problem after flying, then swimming every day on vacation. She used to have ear infections, and had the tubes put in, but they have since fallen out, so it was entirely possible. On the way to the airport this morning, we stopped to buy some Children's Tylenol and I gave her a dose to see if that would help a bit. DH and I joked about getting her the 'drowsy' version.

My worries about traveling were unfounded. Precious cried a bit on the plane, but nothing the other passengers couldn't handle. Everything went smoothly. We arrived on time and all of our luggage was there. The kids were great.

We had a great time, but it sure is nice to be home.

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Last Day in Regina

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Precious slept well again so everyone breathed a communal sigh of relief. In the morning, DH took the kids to visit their great-grandparents once more, then the grandparents took them to the local park. It was great morning for me as I got to read my new book, Remembering the Bones, by Frances Itani. I can scarcely put it down. Later in the morning, DH and I were able to run a 5K together around the neighbourhood. I won't be breaking any records with my speed, but I've barely gone running in the last 2-3 months and it's high time I get back into it. All my pants are shrinking! ha ha.


After lunch, the grandparents indulged DH and I again and we got a chance to ride around Regina's Cathedral area on the motorcycle. DH strutted a bit, feeling pretty manly on the big Harley with his broad on the back.


For afternoon snack, we went to an old-fashioned ice cream store called the Milky Way. I just love that name. It is a white wooden store with a window to the street and everyone orders their ice cream from the sidewalk.
Supper was delicious steaks on the BBQ and Sunyung was able to come. After Derek finishes work, he'll be here too.
We leave tomorrow morning.

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Motorcycle Mama

Monday, August 4, 2008

I was wearing grey shorts and a white tank top today. I suggested to DH that we take his dad's Harley-Davidson motorcycle for a spin while Precious had her nap. I put on the only long pants I brought, which are white jeans, and the only hoodie I brought, which was also white. The only shoes I have here which are suitable for a motorcycle are white runners. So I was feeling a little silly in white head to toe, when DH's Mom saved the day and I was able to swap out my white hoodie for a black windbreaker.


We went for a fairly long ride and I enjoyed the scenery. There's nothing like seeing a city from the back of a motorcycle. It had been a long time since we'd gone riding together, and it was a bit of a thrill, especially on such a sweet bike, a Harley Road King.

In other good news, Precious has slept well the last two nights in a row, and I've only had to prepare one meal in six days. I've also had lots of time to read. I brought one book and three magazines for the week, but I finished everything yesterday. On the bike ride, we had to stop for milk, so I picked up Remembering the Bones by Frances Itani. I read Deafening for my book club and loved it, so I'm excited to dig into this new book.
We were at Oma and Opa's for supper last night. They ordered in KFC and after supper, everyone went downstairs (a first) and Opa spun some 45's from the old country (Austria), starting out with some polka music, some waltzes, then a bit of Elvis Presley-style rock and roll. The kids ran around like crazy and spun around the basement support beams. Uncle Derek danced like a maniac with them. Auntie Sunyung was there too and she hadn't seen the kids in about a year and a half, so she was marvelling at all the changes.
Tonight we're off to Derek and Sunyung's place for supper and some of the other relatives from the other side of the family will be there. It should be fun. Tomorrow's our last real day here and I can't believe it is winding down already.

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The Elephant in the Playroom

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I recently finished reading the book The Elephant in the Playroom, edited by Denise Brodey. It was a collection of short essays by people with children with special needs, mostly autism. I enjoyed the book because it helped me feel less alone in the feelings I have about my own special needs child. Even though my daughter doesn't have autism, I could relate to many of the parents in the book. Their feelings of grief, stress, isolation, caring and frustration are things I have felt many times.

I don't really have time right now to go into detail about what Precious has gone through, but she was born with hypotonia, or low muscle tone, so she struggles with speaking and gross motor activities like walking, running, climbing and jumping. She's about 6 months behind in those areas, but making progress. She continues to move in the right direction, even if it seems excrutiatingly slow at times. Every once in a while, she'll make a great leap of development, and that will help keep me going for a while. I get frustrated and sad when I see how hard things are for her, and I guess that is why I enjoyed reading The Elephant in the Playroom. I realized that I am not the only one who avoids certain activities so I don't have explain my child's disability. I'm not alone in comparing my children to others her own age, only to feel depressed and withdraw. There are others who get frustrated with their own children because they can't do things they should be able to do. I feel that way sometimes, too. I would recommend the book to anyone with a child with special needs.

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Sleep in, brunch, park, shopping and ?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I got to sleep in this morning, which was great. Precious did not sleep well again last night. About an hour and half after she went to bed, she woke up and she was hysterical. We couldn't calm her down and she was thrashing around for at least half an hour. Eventually I got her to sleep in my bed, then moved her downstairs and slept on the futon with her. So that put a crimp in my plans for the evening which were cut short around 9:15.

Around 5:30 this morning, she was up again, so I switched with DH who got her to sleep for a while longer. Naptime today was a bit of a disaster too as she slept for about 1/2 hour, which is not long enough! So I don't know what's going on with her, but I don't like it. NO, I don't like it one bit!

This morning, we met up with Lisa and Frank and Lisa's sister Kellie at a restaurant. Frank and Lisa treated us to brunch and the kids had fun eating. (Sweet Pea's exact words) We enjoyed catching up with Lisa and Frank who have lived in Regina for about 3 years, when Lisa took a job teaching at the University of Regina.
In the afternoon, we went to the local park and the kids played on the play structure for a while, then back into the kiddie pool in the back yard. DH's mom and I headed out to the Sears Outlet and the Value Village to pick up some Bobbsey Twins books she had seen there last week.

I still have about 8 of my original Bobbsey Twin books from when I was little, and I wanted to add to my collection. Then it was over to the Value Village where I picked out a ton of clothes for the girls and then Mom surprised me by treating us to the clothes (and the books, natch). I got rain coats for each of the girls. Precious doesn't own a rain coat and Sweet Pea's doesn't have a hood. What good is a rain coat without a hood, especially when you're four-and-a-half and umbrellas aren't allowed at school? I got two rain coats with hoods, and the price couldn't be beat.

Some ads in a park in downtown Regina.
Some cool ads from the Regina Folk Festival. I can see this being my first contribution to an Ad Challenge on Designer Digitals.

Who knows what tonight holds. Hopefully Precious will sleep well. Keep your fingers crossed!

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Gorgeous weather, splashing, shopping and minivans

Friday, August 1, 2008

The weather here is incredible. It gets pretty cool at night, but it is warm, sunny and a bit breezy in the daytime. We all headed out to the splash pad this morning. After driving past two pads which were deemed inadequate, we headed to the south end of town and spent a few hours at the splash pad. Sweet Pea got two skinned knees. Par for the course and something to go along with her horrible burn on her arm from the giant slide yesterday. In the afternoon, the kids enjoyed an inflatable pool that the neighbours' kids had outgrown. We had chicken from the BBQ and the kids all got a frozen dessert of their choice. Grandpa's a bit of a frozen dessert connoisseur so he had no less than five to choose from.

In the afternoon, I got a chance to go to downtown Regina and walk around some nice streets and take a few pictures. I also got to drive the Grand Caravan, and it is suprisingly easy to drive. I had a few tense moments when I was in the underground parking lot, because it felt like the roof of the car would scrape on the ceiling of the parking lot. I'm happy to report that nothing bad happened.

The kids love the van and want to buy one for home. Turns out that the neighbour is selling his 2004 Toyota Sienna for a good price. As this is Saskatchewan, they don't use road salt and there tends to be little or no rust on cars until they are practically antiques. So the car's in good condition and a good price, and we'll need one, but not right away. We'll really need one in about 2 years, when I go back to work, but we don't really need one right now. I suppose we could sell our Altima. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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